Commentary by James Turnage
Steve Scalise is the Republican House Majority Whip. First of all, that title used to have meaning. The individual in that position had the responsibility to obtain assurance that legislation sponsored by his or her party would receive the necessary votes. I don’t know what its purpose is today. What we do know about Mr. Scalise is that he is a racist, regardless of what he claims. The unquestioning support of Speaker Boehner is more proof that the GOP as a party is racist.
Information was released recently that Scalise had accepted a speaking engagement before a white supremacy group founded by former Klan leader David Duke over a decade ago. Scalise made statements to media representatives claiming that he is in no way a bigot. However, his explanation for the speech has not satisfied his detractors.
Boehner defended his fellow Republican saying ‘I know what’s in his heart.’
Boehner himself is facing controversy from inside his own party. Although he was reelected as the Speaker of the House, 25 members of his own party voted against him. However, the reason given for opposing Boehner is more of an affirmation that the GOP is non-existent, and the TEA Party is in control.
Members of his party called him ‘spineless.’ The reason for name calling was their criticism of the Speaker for compromising with Democrats. What do these 25 Congressmen believe to be their purpose in the legislative body? No single view can be supported by the American people, nor can one-sided ideas serve all of the people. Deliberation and compromise is the purpose of an efficient two party system; at present our government is broken, and the reason exists in the attitudes of these 25 members of the House.
Boehner has been referred to a ‘spineless’ before. However, reasons for that description were based on the Speaker’s lack of leadership. As Speaker of the House, his purpose is to negotiate between both parties, seeking a solution to pass important and necessary legislation. Under Boehner the 112th and 113th Congress’ were complete failures.
The prime example of both Boehner’s lack of leadership and his ignorance of what the American people want is demonstrated by his stand on immigration.
The President issued an executive order which would grant approximately five million undocumented men, women and children legal status in the United States. Under Boehner’s ‘leadership’ the House refused to act on a Senate bill which would have addressed some twelve million people and their legal status in America. When the President took action, Boehner supported the TEA Party and vehemently denounced his action. The President openly stated that if Congress refused to do anything about immigration, he would.
Boehner continues to deny the fact that the majority of Americans wish to see some form of legal status granted to these individuals who remain in limbo. He doesn’t care.
Funding for the Department of Homeland Security must be renewed in February. In a recent statement Boehner promised to defund the DHS; his reason; funding to grant legal status to five million people is obtained from the DHS.
This is not the way to govern. Attempting to undo everything without an attempt to compromise results in a government which is not only broken, it’s an embarrassment to the American people and the world.
Is this where we are headed with a Republican controlled Congress? Will negativity continue to be the norm? Will the 114th Congress be worse than the previous two? Negative comments by Boehner and his cronies have given us a clue.
By James Turnage